IPTL 2016: Nishikori, Williams and Kyrgios headline in India, Japan and Singapore
Some of the top-20 players involved in the International Premier Tennis League this year include Kei Nishikori, Serena Williams, Tomas Berdych and Nick Kyrgios
Mahesh Bhupathi, Founder and Promoter, of the Coca Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), has announced that the third playing of the competition will kick off on Friday, 2 December in Tokyo with four teams, Indian Aces, Japan Warriors, OUE Singapore Slammers and the UAE Royals vying for the coveted IPTL Trophy and some substantial prize money.
Last year, the winners received US$1 million and the runners-up US$0.5 million.
Top-20 players involved this year include Kei Nishikori, Serena Williams, Tomas Berdych and Nick Kyrgios.
The League is playing a reduced schedule of four teams in three countries—Japan, Singapore and India—beginning in Tokyo on 2 December. The tour moves on to Singapore on 6 December, followed by Hyderabad, which will host the third leg and the finals between the 9 and 11 December.
Teams and players
Japan Warriors: Kei Nishikori, Fernando Verdasco, Kurumi Nara, Jelena Jankovic, Fernando Gonzalez, Marat Safin, Jean-Julien Rojer
UAE Royals: Tomas Berdych, Pablo Cuevas, Ana Ivanovic, Martina Hingis,
Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Johansson, Daniel Nestor
OUE Singapore Slammers: Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios, Marcos Baghdatis, Kiki Bertens, Carlos Moya, Rainer Schuettler, Marcelo Melo
Indian Aces: Feliciano Lopez, Ivan Dodig, Eugenie Bouchard, Thomas Enqvist,
Mark Philippoussis, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna
Schedule (all times local)
The four teams will play eight matches each, competing in a round-robin format of matches in each host country.
2-4 December, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
2 December: 14.00 UAE Royals vs Singapore Slammers; 17.30 Japan Warriors vs Indian Aces
3 December: 14.00 Indian Aces vs Singapore Slammers; 17.30 Japan Warriors vs UAE Royals
4 December: 14.00 Indian Aces vs UAE Royals; 17.30 Japan Warriors vs Singapore Slammers
6-8 December, Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
6 December: 17.00 UAE Royals vs Indian Aces; 20.30 Singapore Slammers vs Japan Warriors
7 December: 17.00 Japan Warriors vs Indian Aces; 20.30 Singapore Slammers vs UAE Royals
8 December: 17.00 Japan Warriors vs UAE Royals; 20.30 Singapore Slammers vs Indian Aces
9-11 December, Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad, India
9 December: 16.00 Japan Warriors vs UAE Royals; 19.30 Indian Aces vs Singapore Slammers
10 December: 16.00 Singapore Slammers vs Japan Warriors; 19.30 Indian Aces vs UAE Royals
11 December: 16.00 Final to be decided
Rules and formats
Each match comprises five sets, with only one set played in each of five formats:
· Men’s singles
· Women’s singles
· Men’s doubles
· Mixed doubles
· Past champion singles
The winner of each set is the first to six games, with a ‘shoot-out’ should they reach 5-5: first to seven points wins the deciding game.
If the teams are tied at the end of the five sets, they play a ‘super shoot-out’, with the first team to win 10 points winning the match—no 2-point difference required.
There is no ad scoring, but there is the shot-clock. The clock audibly counts down the 20 seconds between service points, the 45 seconds at the change of ends, the 60 seconds for a coaching time-out—one permitted each set—and three minutes between sets.
There is also room for some on-the-hoof strategy with the ‘power point’, which can be called by the receiving player once in each set, with the winner of the rally scoring two points instead of one.
With every game adding a point to the cumulative total of a team in each match, every player needs to win as many games as possible, even if losing the set.